The Valdaermen ("Men of Power") were a fellowship of norse rune-crafters that existed during the Mythic Age.
The Valdaermen orientated themselves on the religion of the Norse. To them, Odin was exemplary because of his sacrifice. But because Odin's sacrifice was for self interest, they held him in no special regard. Their practices were rites of self-empowerment through hardship, sacrifice and pain, allowing the Valdaermen to become a figure akin to the gods themselves.
The Nordic Valdaermen practiced Runes empowered by the Foundation Blôt (depth of sacrifice), which came in four types (their Pillars): Fara runes (mysteries of travel: Ehwaz and Raidho), Forlog runes (mysteries of luck and fortune: Fehu, Gebo, Jem, Othala, and Wunjo), Galdrar runes (mysteries of magic and secrets: Ansuz, Gebo, Iwaz, Perthro, and Uruz), and Hjaldar runes (mysteries of battle: Isa, Kenaz, Naudhiz, Sowilo, Thurisaz, and Tiwaz).
Much of the history of the Valdaermen is lost, due to mostly oral traditions.
Early History Edit
The earliest Valdaermen had much more in common with the Spirit-Talkers and were mostly women who crafted "spá"´, the strands of destiny. Later, the god Odin allegedly revealed the secrets of runes to humanity. Those who followed Odin's steps became the first rune wizards. Among their fellows, however, they were held in no high regard and instead relegated to the outskirts of society.
When the first christian missionaries came to Scandinavia, those who sought to defend themselves found that their only allies were the primarily female Valdaermen. Now treasured again, the Valdaermen started a counter offensive against the Christians and the mages that had accompained them. When it became clear that they could not stem the tide of history, the Valdaermen were again banished into exile.
During these times, the Valdaermen searched for ways to survive. One example was the village of Kaldheim in the Far North, a community consisting solely of Valdaermen, who used undead slaves as work force. These necromancers (svalahodr) were held in awe and bedrudging respect by the rest of their Fellowship.
During the Grand Convocation, the few remaining Valdaermen split: One part, mostly the females, went to the Dream-Speakers. The other, those aligned with the Germanic William Groth, joined the Verbenae, while a small number joined the Chakravanti as the Keepers of Yggdrasil.
Among their own, the Valdaermen were watched with suspicion. Magic was seen as unmanly, the lot of cowards and weaklings that relied on it as their only method of expressing their will upon the world. Valdaermen were constantly mocked by their communities, at least until they proved their power and utility for the community.
As they were exposed to the Christian world, a rift began within the Valdaermen. One faction, the Asatru, held true to their pagan faith and sought to resist all change. The others either searched for isolated places far enough away from the changes that came to the North, or sought to adapt, often using their magic to ingrain themselves into mortal society and become rich.
Female Valdaermen were known, but not common, since most female mages instead became Spirit-Talkers instead. They were called Valdaerkona.
The Valdaermen lived usually solitary existences at the outskirts of society, as much out of social pressure as of their own choice. Most acquired apprentices in the form of deals with their families: In exchange for his services, the Valdaerman would take the son of the family to teach him his craft. These apprentices were referred to as "thanes". Thanes are often treated badly, as they have to endure every hardship and misery in order to master the runes. When their master died, the thane would become the master (a "karl") instead. Valdaermen that held the respect of their peers were called konungr.
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